What Are Solar Powered Cars?
Solar powered cars are electric vehicles which are powered by solar energy that is obtained from solar panels on the surface of the car. Basically, photovoltaic cells then convert the sun’s energy directly into electrical energy. Solar powered cars are can operate for limited distances without the sun, but they are still not considered as a practical form of transportation.
Solar powered cars were first built by universities and manufacturers, and development continues on solar cell design and car power supply requirements such as heater or air-conditioning fans.
The solar array on solar powered cars consists of hundreds of photovoltaic cells converting sunlight into electricity. Cars, unlike many other objects that use solar energy, can use a variety of solar cell technologies, which most often involves polycrystalline silicon, monocrystalline silicon, and gallium arsenide. Solar cars usually have incredibly distinctive shapes, as designers aim to minimize drag, maximize the exposure to the sun, minimize weight and still make the vehicles as safe as possible.
The Advantages And Disadvantages
There are both advantages and disadvantages to solar cars, and all of these should be taken carefully and thoughtfully into consideration. Some of the advantages include, for one, that of safety and convenience, for instance there are batteries available on most solar cars which store electrical energy that is to be used later by the electric motor when the demand for electric power exceeds that of the output of the onboard generating device.
There is also the advantage involving efficiency, which relates to the fact that all solar cars are able to produce their full rated power at any speed, unlike that of regular automobiles. Another prime advantage of solar cars is that they are positive in regards to the economy. This is because an electric motor and an electric generator are the same device, basically, and electrical current is fed into such a device, causing it to act as a motor and, thus, creates mechanical power.
There are certain disadvantages, too, such as, most of the solar cars available do not have the power or speed of many of the regularly available cars and vehicles and, as well, the battery on the solar car may have to be used far too frequently depending on the weather, for instance if it is dark out for several days, you will have to rely on the battery of the car in order to make it work. This can seem as a hassle to many people, which is a large explanation towards why solar cars still aren’t that popular today.